Thursday, 30 April 2015

APRIL FAVOURITES


It's been a long time since I've done a proper beauty favourites post, but seen as I have really been loving some specific products in April I thought it was only fair that I shared them with you today. They are all makeup / skincare focused, starting off with the foundation that you're probably so bored of me talking about! The Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Light Porcelain is 100% my favourite foundation ever, bold claim I know - but so so true. It's lightweight, but still covers any of my redness, it's easy to apply - I tend to take one pump on my fingers and blend it into the skin that way, and it lasts really well on my skin too. I'm talking like 12+ hour days and still looking acceptable at the end of it. I genuinely can't imagine being without this, and hopefully won't be anytime soon. 

Next up is a serum that has really helped changed the texture of my skin. After buying 2 (or many 3) bottles of Hydraluron, I decided to give this one a try as it's cheaper and having a body shop loyalty card means I get 10% off anyway. The Vitamin E Moisture Serum comes in a super handy pump bottle, which controls how much you get out as well as being nice and hygienic. This serum is lightweight in texture, but really has helped to make my skin feel smoother and less rough (?!) if you get me. In terms of eye products I'm still loving my Mac Eyeshadows, specifically MAC's Omega and MAC's Phloof. Omega is the bomb for both natural looking eyebrows without looking overly filled in, and a staple matte light brown crease colour - something I've been favouring with a matte eye and an attempted cat flick. Phloof is the most gorgeous inner corner highlight, which really helps to brighten the eyes with it's shimmery pink tone. 

The trusty old Rimmel Kohl Eyeliner in 011 Sable Brown has been taking the place of my normal black liquid liner on quite a few occasions, inspired by Isobel Rose's post about her Eyeliner Hiatus (post here). This makes for a really quick and easy way to enhance those lashes and make them look a little fuller while also keeping the eyes looking natural and minimal effort made. The formula is nice and creamy to apply but does set down and doesn't budge. Finally I couldn't actually do a favourites without including a lip product could I?! This month has seen the return of the Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Bright Pink which is a fabulous colour for when your skin is looking a bit dull. Also, it smells like vanilla which makes it a winner all round. The fact I can wear this if I'm sporting a smokey eye or something more neutral means it's super versatile too. 

What have you loved using this April?
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

9 APPS FOR YOUR IPHONE

There's no denying I'm a bit of a tech geek. When it comes to technology I'm a big fan, whether it's making lists or learning to meditate I'll be using my tech where I can. Today I'm going to be sharing 9 of my favourite iPhone apps (not sure which ones are available on Androids sorry!).

First up is Afterlight. This is the app I use to edit all of my instagram photos. I like to use the same app as I'm a bit of a perfectionist so the fact that all my instagram snaps have some kind of theme to them please me greatly. Next is AnyDo which is great if you're a lover of lists like me. It's a pretty basic (free) app that allows you to separate your to-dos into jobs for today and tomorrow, as well as ones further into the future. Once you have completed the job you simply swipe and it disappears. Simples. I am a huge fan of the Bloglovin app, which since it's redesign is actually quite stunning. I find this is the best way to keep track of blog posts I need to read, and allows me to browse through a range of different blogs depending on if I'm fancying anything from food to fashion. 

CarTunes is a staple for both me and my dad, it is a much more aesthetically pleasing than the music app that comes built in to apple products. The reason I like this so much is due to the minimal design. No more tiny buttons all over the screen, you are shown the album cover, the title, artist and name of the album as well as how far through the song you are. The clever thing about this app is that it themes the colour of the timings to match the colour of the album colour. Just something small but I really love this app. Next up is Collect which I mentioned in my 'Recent Lifestyle Favourites' a couple of weeks ago, and it's definitely worth another mention here. This app allows you to collect all of your photos in one place, you simply upload one for each day (all the photos stay private to your phone and don't get shared with anyone) so that at the end of the month you can have a visual summary of what you've been up to. March was the first month I completed as I discovered the app in mid feb, but I can't wait to keep going with it and be able to look back at my year in photos. 

Crossy Road is so addictive I don't know if I should be telling you about it, it's basically just a chicken hoping across the road avoiding vehicles, but if you're anything like me it will provide you with a lot of entertainment. For those who fancy trying mediation Headspace is the app for you. This helps guide you through the beginning steps of mediation, and has been something I've been loving doing first thing in the morning. The first 10 sessions are free but there's nothing to say you can't listen to these over and over again! Obviously I'm a massive fan of Instagram, I mean who doesn't love seeing pictures of everything from pinterest worthy nails to delicious burgers in one place?! Last but not least Snapchat is one of my favourite apps this year so far. If you fancy seeing what I get up to then add me 'katesnapsxo'. 

What apps have you been into recently?
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Sunday, 26 April 2015

SPRING NAIL POLISH PICKS


Spring is finally here, after many dull months, which inevitably means it's time to bring out the pastel nail colours. So today I'm going to be sharing some of this years spring nail polish picks with you. First up my spring nails are not complete without a baby pink, this year in the form of Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Pink Creme. This applies really nicely and goes with many different outfits. Also from the same brand I have the Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Romance which is a really interesting purple metallic colour, and does make a change to the milkier pastel colours that I so often opt for. This takes more coats to build up the colour but is nice and subtle. 

A throwback to my birthday last year when my best friends bought me the Revlon Scented Nail Polish in Apricot Nectar. I really like this colour, it's more pastel than it comes out on the nail swatch in the photo. The smell is nice but doesn't last too long on the nails, which in some ways I prefer as it's not too overwhelming. My only qualm with this polish is that the brush is quite thin so application can be quite faffy. As you may know I'm a huge fan of Barry M nail polishes, and this year is no exception. A mint candy apple look-a-like comes in the form of Barry M Nail Polish in Huckleberry. This is a really super cute colour, and a very spring-esque. These polishes apply like a dream on me, have a beautiful shine and stay on my nails really well! Also from Barry M I have the colour Prickly Pear, which was the first colour I owned from the gelly shine nails. So these are my choice of nail polishes for spring, as a side note I've also been loving the Speed Dry line from Barry M at the moment but didn't include them in the photo!

What nail colours do you sport in spring?
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Thursday, 23 April 2015

WONDER BY R.J PALACIO BOOK REVIEW


As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge book lover. Since being at uni I've tried to keep up my reading habits as I find it is such a good stress reliever to me, especially when I immerse myself into a fictional world. Wonder by R.J Palacio was one of the books I've wanted to read since the start of the year. It's about a boy who is born with numerous face abnormalities and this story. The book is written from the perspective's of many of the different characters, including Auggie the main character, his sister and a number of his school friends. Rather than being split into traditional chapters this book is split into the different perspectives, then inside each of those is a small page or two of writing on a specific day or topic which is what I suppose you could call the mini chapters. This means it's a easy book to pick up and read wherever you are without feeling like have you have to read pages on end before you get to the end of a chapter. The book is set in America, and follows the life of Auggie when he makes the big transition from being home schooled to going to a state school at the age of 10. 

The thing I loved most about this book is the way you got an insight into all of the different members in Auggie's life, and although some of them may have seemed to have been accepting of Auggie's difficulties at first when you get round to reading their chapters things are not all as they seem to be. This book also shows the challenges that children with facial abnormalities face in day to day life, and the disgusting reactions that people have towards a ten year old child they often know nothing about. A book about friendship, courage and bullying I couldn't recommend this book more. 

What have you read recently?
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

WHAT'S ON MY FACE #10


When it comes to everyday makeup I like to keep things pretty simple. This makeup look is one of my go-to looks at the moment, with a simple brown toned eye and a glossy lip. Today on my face I put on the Urban Decay Primer Potion, a step I never skip if I'm putting eyeshadow on. Next up I used my old favourite Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze to add a bit of shadow all over the lid. This has a gorgeous bronze tone as the name suggests and it makes you to look like you put heaps of effort into your eyeshadow. I added a tiny bit of MAC Omega Eyeshadow in the crease just to help blend out the edges of the cream eyeshadow. For my eyebrows I used a cheapy but a goody product in the form of the 2True Eyebrow Pencil. A smudging of Rimmel Kohl Eyeliner in 011 Sable Brown along the lash line for some definition followed by lashing of my trusty Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara. Simple eyes, done. 

I always do my face makeup after my eyes so next I applied some of the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain which is simply my favourite foundation of all time! No need for brushes with this, I take one pump on my fingers and then blend it into the skin to create a light natural base. I find this foundation really helps to even out my skintone and provides a fresh look to the skin, so I sometimes opt out of using any other face products. I did so on this occasion, as my cheeks are naturally flushed anyway and I wanted to keep the skin as natural as possible. To complete the look I used a natural gloss in the form of Stila Lip Glaze in Guava, which by the way smells divine! 

What products have you been using on your face recently?
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

HOW TO: MAKE MORNINGS EASIER


Tomorrow brings the end of the Easter holidays for me, which means no more lie ins and back to getting up early for 9am lectures. However, I feel like I've discovered some ways to make those early mornings easier, which I'm going to share with you today. 

The Night Before
Getting all your bits and pieces ready for the next morning means allowing yourself that extra couple of minutes of sleep, and also means you don't have to frantically run around in the morning looking for that green pen, or USB stick that you desperately need to find. I always make sure my bag is packed with all the folders I need for the next day. Also I find it helps to have a good wind down routine, whether this includes a face mask and bath or simply just taking time to do your skincare routine before hopping into bed. Doing this always makes me feel more relaxed and drift off quicker, a sensible bedtime helps make the mornings easier too (although I will admit my phone sometimes distracts me for a little too long)!

Morning Time
I generally set three alarms for the morning, starting to wake my body up slowly. Something small that I do is set the alarm to say something nice, an inspiring message or simply a sunny emoji. When I look at my phone with anger for waking me up, I instantly feel calmer and ready to face the day. I also use the clock app that comes installed on any apple products, this means I can choose a song from my music that I want to wake up to. At the moment some of my choices have been The Call by Regina Spektor or Scars by James Bay. Both of which are relaxing but good songs to wake up to. Next if I plan ahead and give myself enough time I take ten minutes to listen to a day on Headspace. This app helps you work towards meditating and being more aware of your physical sensations. It makes me feel so refreshed and energised after I've completed the day's podcast. This is followed by a warm drink, either hot water or green tea - another way to help me feel refreshed and ready for the day. 

Finally I put on my morning playlist while I'm getting ready. The songs I choose for this are upbeat happy songs that put a smile on my face. My current morning playlist consists of; Geronimo by Sheppard, Best Fake Smile by James Bay, Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne and I Lived by One Republic. This allows me to do my hair and makeup, get dressed and do anything I else I want to while feeling happy about the day (and having a dance around my room!). 

That's my tips on how to make what may seem like an awful early morning easier. Do you have any tips or things you like to do in the morning?
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

LONDON HAUL



As you may have seen I posted a update about my adventure to London on Tuesday. Today I'm showing you the bits that I picked up while I was there. I tried to pick up bits that I can't get near me, in shops that aren't in my area. My first stop was Pull and Bear where I picked up this gorgeous big brown bag which I'm going to use for university. It has an open pocket at the front which will be great for my phone and the bag itself has a zip closure which I always like. Also from Pull and Bear I had an impulse buy before I got to the till with this iPhone 5 fish case. In all fairness it is a bit chunky but it's attracted a lot of attention from my friends and it is pretty entertaining. 

The next shop I popped into was Forever 21 where I picked up these beautiful rings. The rose gold pair were £3.50 and I love how delicate they are. The one with gems in was £1.50 and looks really nice with a nude nail polish. As well as the two rings I picked up this lovely dress which came to £12. It's a cami style dress which I can't wait to wear on holiday in the summer. The day before I'd been into Urban Outfitters and jumped for joy when I saw they stocked the EOS hand cream. I had some of this when I went to America in 2012 and loved it back then, and I still love it now. 

I was thrilled to spot the KIKO store as I knew I wanted to pick up one of their Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks which I've seen some reviews floating around for. I chose the shade 37 which is a lovely reddy-bronze colour. Keep your eyes peeled for a review coming soon! Also on the makeup side of things I treated myself to another MAC eyeshadow, this time in the shade Mystery. I'm only 3 colours away from completing my palette which is pretty exciting. And last but not least I grabbed this bargain bowl from Anthropologie for my mum. It's orange and blue striped inside and a flowery pattern on the outside, very fitting for these warmer months. 

So that's what I picked up in London. Let me know if you've got or want to get anything in this haul, or if you've picked up anything recently!
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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

ADVENTURE TIME: LONDON



If you follow me on twitter (@beautybabbles) you will probably have noticed that I had a little adventure to London last week. Being from the north I don't often get a chance to visit our capital and so I get very excited at the thought of all the different sights and shops. On the first day me and my parents got the train down and did a bit of sightseeing, including Trafalgar Square with the new sculpture which was pretty cool. We also ate at a lovely place called Lascala and I had the most delicious calzone pizza!! While exploring we kept our eyes peeled for the Shaun the Sheep's that are placed round London at the moment in a little trail. Frozen yoghurt shops are sparse in most places near me so I dragged my parents in to Snog. I had mango frozen yoghurt with oreo pieces and strawberries...drool!! Finally that evening we went to see Matilda the musical, I am a huge West End fan and this was such a good musical. If you get the chance to go and see it you really should, the children are so young and still so incredible. 

Instead of travelling all the way back home in the evening I crashed at my flatmates house who lives a short train journey away from London. An early-ish start followed the next morning for a day shopping. We headed straight for Oxford Street, I shan't tell you what I bought just yet as I'm going to post a haul in the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled. Another Shaun the Sheep was found in Hamleys, which yes we did pay a visit to even though we are university students! Lunch was a scrummy bacon and cheese burger in Kua' Aina off Carnaby Street accompanied by some chips. Then it was a bit more shopping, a wander round Harrods looking at the crazy prices of everything and a relax in Hyde Park before getting the train back to my family. 

I really enjoyed my short adventure in London, and I am excited to visit again in the summer for our #LDNSummerMeetUp (which you can see the details for here)!
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Sunday, 12 April 2015

RECENT LIFESTYLE FAVOURITES


Favourites aren't really something I post about too much on my blog but occasionally I have a group of things I feel I should tell you about. Today is just one of those days. I have quite a few random favourites so let's just get on to what they are. 

First up is something I got before heading off to uni and I'm so glad I did. My Bobble Bottle now comes everywhere with me, and has helped up my water intake so much. There is a filter built into the cap which needs to be changed every 150 drinks or roughly 2 months, but there is an array of different coloured lids/filters so you can switch them up depending on what you're feeling that month.  Personally I'm a fan of filtered water, I just find it tastes better and encourages me to drink more. I have the 500ml bottle but there is a 1L bottle available too. Next up is my Tangle Teezer which has been a saviour for my hair. Having thick long hair can often mean a lot of fuss trying to brush through my wet hair after getting out of the shower. I'd read so many good things about these so picked this cute purple one up in Boots a while back and haven't looked back since. 

In terms of technology stuff, Evernote and OneDrive have become uni essentials. Evernote is where I store all of my notes which I take down on my iPad mini in lectures, I tried taking paper notes but I can't write half as fast as I can type! One of the main reasons I love Evernote is because you can create 'notebooks' for different subjects and so for an organising lover like me I can keep everything in the right places which makes writing up notes after lectures easier to navigate. OneDrive is handy for making work accessible from both my iPad and laptop, meaning I can start a piece of work on my laptop then pick it up again on my iPad when I'm on the move. Super useful! 

On my phone I've found an app called Collect. It's really simple, you just take a photo each day and store it for that day on the app. At the end of the month you're left with a visual summary of your month which is nice to look back at. I started doing this at the end of February and so March was the first full month to be completed. I'm looking forwards to doing this for the rest of 2015 then being able to remember all the little things from each day which often get forgotten. Music wise James Bay's album Chaos and The Calm has been my go to at the moment, especially the track 'Best Fake Smile' which is such a great song to play in the morning for a happy upbeat start to the day. 

So that's just some of my lifestyle favourites, what have you been loving? 
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

SHARE THE LOVE #2


Another month, and time I shared some more blogs that I've been loving recently. First up is a recent discovery of Within Jays Life who is a blogger from Canada. Her photos are really clean and I love the fresh layout of her beautiful blog. Similarly Bloomin' Rouge has a stunning design to her blog and one of my favourite posts has been her '5 Tricks To Brighten Your Complexion', seriously how gorgeous is Holly?! Also on the beauty theme Talking About M has had a makeover and boy is it a sight for sore eyes. I've been enjoying Megan being back on the blogging bandwagon too. 

Recently I've been venturing out of the world of beauty blogs and discovering some fashion and food blogs. Style Playground is written by Axelle who has the most pinterest worthy style, and I want to own everything in that girls wardrobe! She has definitely inspired me to start moving towards a more mature and sophisticated closet (although I'm still not giving up my leavers hoodie!). Again a more recent discovery and love comes from Kim over at Love Cloth. I adore Kim's hair, serious hair envy, but her style is very much my kind of style and has been another port of fashion inspiration for me. 

Finally we all know I'm a bit of a food fiend, and finding/trying new recipes is right up my street. The three I've been constantly saving recipes from are Cookie and Kate, Love and Lemons and Ambitious Kitchen. All three of these have great photography and delicious sounding recipes that I've slowly been adding to my list to try. Some of my favourites include the Green Goddess Hummus Sandwich, Easy Black Bean & Chickpea Chilli and one of the tastiest meals I've made at uni the Chipotle Turkey Quinoa Chilli

I hope you discover some new blogs and lovely bloggers from this, let me know who you've been loving in a comment below! 


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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

THE BUDGET FOUNDATION I'D BUY AGAIN AND AGAIN


Never, EVER, have I repurchased a foundation. Mainly because I've never loved and used one so much that I've actually ended up using up the whole bottle. Yet, when this gem came along all that was to change. Back in August I bought the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain. I originally fell in love with this foundation because for once I'd managed to find a foundation light enough for my pale complexion. The more I used it, the more I fell in love. To the point where when I finished my bottle I had to text my friend who was in town to pick up another one for me. Yes, that's how much I didn't want to be without it! 

Although there are many reasons why I love this foundation, one of the main ones is the fact that it is so easy and quick to apply with it being a very thin liquid formula. Yet it sinks into the skin so beautifully leaving a fresh natural complexion while still covering any unwanted redness. The amount of times I've got really close to the mirror to inspect where the foundation has gone to look so natural is endless. Also, I don't know if I'm extremely lucky or this product is incredible but I can apply this in the morning around 8am and at the end of a day of lectures, or sometimes even later this still looks as fresh and perfect as it does in the morning. And one of the best perks, it's a bargainous price of £6.99! For someone like me who is on a student budget and can't afford to be buying high end foundation this ticks all of my foundation boxes and comes in at a great pop for my pennies. 

Have you tried this foundation? Do you have another favourite budget foundation or any that you'd like to try? 


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Sunday, 5 April 2015

#LDNSUMMERMEETUP WITH SOPHIE SAID


Words cannot explain how excited I am to publish this post today! Since joining the blogging community in 2011 I've made so many friends and discovered some lovely people, and always wanted to have the chance to meet them. One of my close blogging friends is my penpal Sophie from Sophie Said. We've been discussing arranging a meetup since last year really, and now we finally have some information for you all! 

The date we've decided on is Tuesday 28th July. Hopefully this will tie in with school/uni holidays and maybe for those who work give you enough time to book a day off (if you really fancy coming!). More details will be coming over the next couple of months, but we both just wanted to let people know so we can see who would be interested in coming. 

As it's our first time organising a meetup we're thinking of keeping it around 20 people. If you'd be interested in coming then please let me or Sophie know and if you could leave your twitter name that would be really helpful! A comment down below or email popped to kate@beautybabbles.com is great. At the moment the draft plan for the day is to meet in Covent Garden then split into smaller groups and go shopping, then gather again for lunch. We're also looking into seeing if any brands would be interested in doing a demonstration/makeover type thing but we'll keep you updated on that! If you fancy tweeting about the event we thought to organise all the tweets in one place we could use the hashtag #LDNSummerMeetUp.

If any of you have organised meetups before please comment any tips or advice down below. I'm already really excited for theis and I can't wait to host and attend my first meetup! 

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

WHAT'S IN MY TRAVEL MAKEUP BAG


One of the many strange things about living/being away at uni is that when you come home for holidays it means prioritising your favourite makeup items rather than having your whole stash. Sometimes I like this though, it means going through and selecting the bits you really love or want to make an effort to use again! This Easter I'm doing a fair bit of travelling, from visiting family to a break in London, so I wanted to have enough options while still keeping things fairly streamlined. So here are the products that got picked this time. 

Started off with base, I don't tend to vary this up much so not many items in this category. Foundation wise it's mainly the Rimmel Match Perfection that wins my heart but I'd like to try and use my Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation a bit more too. Concealer, the one and only Collection Lasting Perfection. Daily base doesn't tend to include anything more but for the times when I'd like to look a bit more made up or for a longer lasting base I also packed my trusty One Heck Of A Blot Powder by Soap and Glory. As it's getting warmer now in the UK the Body Shop Honey Bronzer has started to grace my cheekbones (or lack of) more often. Finally to add a rosy glow my Stila Convertible Colour Blush in Peony - a super cute, travel-friendly size one from a christmas set. 

Stupidly not pictured here but I did bring my adored MAC palette with me, which is still in-progress of being completed. The shadows I have so far are Shroom, Brule, Phloof, Naked Lunch, Omega, Era, Patina, Cork, Sable, Satin Taupe and Carbon. A nice range of mattes and shimmers, cools and warms. I also threw in my Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad To The Bronze, something that seems to appear every spring for a slightly more intense bronzy eye look. Eyeliners that made the cut are the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl in Nude, Rimmel Eyeliner in Sable Brown, Smashbox Eyeliner in Onyx, and the Collection Extreme Felt Tip Liner. Mascara, no surprises when I tell you I bought the Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara (yes, it really is time I tried something new). For brows I'll either use MAC's Omega Eyeshadow or 2True's Eyebrow Pencil

Lip products are where I always tend to overpack. I have that mindset of 'well one day I might feel like wearing this', when in hindsight I'll probably wear the same nudey pink for the whole holiday. However I did bring some red options in the form of Revlon's Colorstay Moisture Stain in New York and Maybelline's Colour Drama Lip Crayon in Light It Up. For a glossier look to things the Stila Lip Glaze in Guava and Bobbi Brown's Lipgloss in Bright Pink made it in too. I'm still really into these chubby lipstick pencils and so the Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, Revlon Matte Balm Stain in Elusive and Bourjois Lipstick in Peach On The Beach came too. Finally for a really easy, wearable colour I grabbed the Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

Phew! Hopefully I'll make use of all of the makeup that I bought, look out on Thursday for a post using some of the bits I bought. What would you makeup picks be?
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